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Old 11-29-2006, 06:44 PM   #1
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Stupid things non-writers say

Mini-rant (not enough coffee yet this a.m.):

My Dad, who is well-meaning but a bit self-absorbed and clueless, inspired this "stupid things to say to a writer" thread. Any time the topic of writing comes up (which is not often because I refuse to talk about it these days), he says, "You know who's made a lot of money writing? Harold Robbins! You could be like him!" Yes, he's said this more than once.

Um, yeah. You'd think he'd at least pick a better, or at least more recent example, like Dan Brown. Not that either of them write litfic, romance, or food essays (my genres).

The pathetic part is that he has no clue what I write, nor does he bother asking me (like I said, self-absorbed). Oh, and he's never even read Harold Robbins's books. If he did, I don't think he'd be so eager for me to write "like him."

So, what are some stupid things people have said to you (besides the trusty "I want to write someday" or "I could have written [insert name of story here] if I had the time")?
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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I try to stay away from writing topics, but a month ago my aunt asked the title of my book. I told her the title with others sitting around and she said, along with another, “What? I don’t know that word. I don’t like the title, so you need to change it.” Being the smart a$$ I am I responded, “I don’t care whether you like it or not. If you don’t know the word, you definitely aren’t part of my target audience.” She shut up, we moved onto another topic and I doubt we will be discussing my book again.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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non writers idiocy

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainofThought View Post
I try to stay away from writing topics, but a month ago my aunt asked the title of my book. I told her the title with others sitting around and she said, along with another, ďWhat? I donít know that word. I donít like the title, so you need to change it.Ē Being the smart a$$ I am I responded, ďI donít care whether you like it or not. If you donít know the word, you definitely arenít part of my target audience.Ē She shut up, we moved onto another topic and I doubt we will be discussing my book again.

Well....that reply was genius! I would loved to have been sitting there, watching the tense-ness meter peg over into the red.....LOL

Me, I would have probably told that person to go buy a dictionary.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainofThought View Post
I try to stay away from writing topics, but a month ago my aunt asked the title of my book. I told her the title with others sitting around and she said, along with another, ďWhat? I donít know that word. I donít like the title, so you need to change it.Ē Being the smart a$$ I am I responded, ďI donít care whether you like it or not. If you donít know the word, you definitely arenít part of my target audience.Ē She shut up, we moved onto another topic and I doubt we will be discussing my book again.

Lol. Spot-on!
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrainofThought View Post
I try to stay away from writing topics, but a month ago my aunt asked the title of my book. I told her the title with others sitting around and she said, along with another, ďWhat? I donít know that word. I donít like the title, so you need to change it.Ē Being the smart a$$ I am I responded, ďI donít care whether you like it or not. If you donít know the word, you definitely arenít part of my target audience.Ē She shut up, we moved onto another topic and I doubt we will be discussing my book again.
Too funny!
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:06 PM   #6
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"I have a great idea for a book! You write it and we'll split the money."

"Gee, you must be rich!"

"I've always wanted to write but I've never had the time."
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:14 PM   #7
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Here I was celebrating my personal rejection from a big-time editor, and this silly non-writer person says, "But it's still a rejection, right?"

Sheesh. You think they'd learn.

(Maybe I'm the stupid one. )
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
"I have a great idea for a book! You write it and we'll split the money."

"Gee, you must be rich!"

"I've always wanted to write but I've never had the time."
add to these - anything i have read, and are you famous? like, duh - oh yeah get that 'are you going on oprah' thing a lot
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:08 PM   #9
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Ouch.

Okay, so your Dad thinks you should write like Harold Robbins, might ask why? Better yet, ask which book. Might tell him why you like writing what you write. Show him one of your recent pieces and ask him what he thinks --after he's read it.


What's the title TOT? You just lost what could have been a sure buyer of your book by not being gracious of her ignorance. You could have told her what it meant and why the title fit so perfectly and then she would have learned a word, learned more about your book and perhaps been intrigued enough to go home and tell her friends about her niece the writer who would be published soon.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryTex
Ouch.

Okay, so your Dad thinks you should write like Harold Robbins, might ask why? Better yet, ask which book. Might tell him why you like writing what you write. Show him one of your recent pieces and ask him what he thinks --after he's read it.
He hasn't read anything by Harold Robbins. He just sees the money.

The only Robbins book I've read is Descent From Xanadu (I read it when I was a teenager). It was unintentionally hilarious.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:45 PM   #11
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While discussing the possibility of including a novel project into my curriculum, my professor suddenly gets all hush hush and says, "We'd better be quiet. Anyone could steal your idea."

Good grief.

My father: "You should try to emulate Dan Brown. You know, write another Da Vinci Code."

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Old 11-29-2006, 07:11 PM   #12
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"A writer? Oh. So... um... what do you do?"
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:05 AM   #13
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"A writer? Oh. So... um... what do you do?"
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:40 PM   #14
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My mom won't read my work because I call it horror. She says she thinks I'll be too gorey. So I asked her "who's your favorite author?" She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"

"He uses short paragraphs."

I write about monsters. He writes about a detective. I guess it depends on who is doing the mutilating. Go figure...
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:47 PM   #15
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This isn't so much a stupid statement than a stupid idea. Non-writers have an idea that writing takes a lot of time but if I say I'm busy writing and can't do something else, they're surprised. It's as if I can do both at the same time or writing is less important than anything else.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:53 PM   #16
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Where do you get your ideas?

Little shop down the road's running a special on them. Buy one, get one free.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xhouseboy
Where do you get your ideas?

Little shop down the road's running a special on them. Buy one, get one free.
I'm totally going to use this one next time this question is asked of me.

So is that sentence grammatically correct cause I think my stepmom who's third language is English has better grammar than me. Is that sad or what?
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
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This isn't so much a stupid statement than a stupid idea. Non-writers have an idea that writing takes a lot of time but if I say I'm busy writing and can't do something else, they're surprised. It's as if I can do both at the same time or writing is less important than anything else.
To be fair, in the everyday world it is possible to multi-task your work with other tasks. Most people do not realize that creative art takes place in parts of the brain that should not be disturbed during the process. That zen-like feeling where stories spring up from. Not having experienced it, they have no concept.

This attitude is not just for writers, but for every type of artist. If a person doesn't have the spark that drives to create, they will never truly understand. We are like creatures from another world to them. I think that artists also tend to not accept the scheduled thinking of the corporate world, we march to our own drummers. Another gap between us. In the corporate world, worth is measured by money and power. In the artist community, worth is measured by what you create. Two ideas that don't quite mesh.

I find that I just take a deep breath and remind myself that these non-creative people are my possible future customers. Their function is to buy. Mine is to create.
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delarege
My mom won't read my work because I call it horror. She says she thinks I'll be too gorey. So I asked her "who's your favorite author?" She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"

"He uses short paragraphs."

I write about monsters. He writes about a detective. I guess it depends on who is doing the mutilating. Go figure...
Short paragraphs? I'm unable to fathom that as a definite attraction one way or another.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delarege View Post
My mom won't read my work because I call it horror. She says she thinks I'll be too gorey. So I asked her "who's your favorite author?" She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"

"He uses short paragraphs."

I write about monsters. He writes about a detective. I guess it depends on who is doing the mutilating. Go figure...

My mother used to read Stephen King, and Koontz, and I read the same books growing up. She said; I have never read a book, where the author uses swears! (Yes, she did read King, but apparently forgot what a pottie mouth he has.)"You need to take that out of your book, or nobody will even look at it. Let alone publish it."

Ha ha, okay I quit!!
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:33 PM   #21
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She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"
Oh, hey, I know that book. And in defense of your mother (and the author, whom I do enjoy and would not qualify as "crap" as opposed to any number of other authors out there - okay, ranting here) most of the Alex Delaware novels are short on gore.

Perhaps your mother isn't the only one being unfairly judgemental?

(I know this was posted MONTHS ago but I just got around to looking in this thread. Unless I've been here before, which I don't think I have...)
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
My mom won't read my work because I call it horror. She says she thinks I'll be too gorey. So I asked her "who's your favorite author?" She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"

"He uses short paragraphs."

I write about monsters. He writes about a detective. I guess it depends on who is doing the mutilating. Go figure...
This one is so choice! Made me laugh out loud.

(So, okay, I came late to the thread and was reading 2006!)

After all these years as a writer, I do understand the frustration in what you're all saying, but I've also learned that in many cases, though naive, it's well intentioned. Like Bubastes' father. At least he's not trying to be discouraging like some of the others are.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
My mom won't read my work because I call it horror. She says she thinks I'll be too gorey. So I asked her "who's your favorite author?" She said Jonathan Kellerman. So I go find a book by JK. The first chapter has a series of mutilations and same gender sex.

"MOTHER! Why do you read this crap?"

"He uses short paragraphs."
So this is 6 years late, but I've never read this thread before... To this, I say:

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Old 11-29-2006, 07:58 PM   #24
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I was at a local tavern (hometown hangout) and was with some friends. I was talking about writing my first MS. One of my friends is a beta reader for me. Some old guy that drinks too much and talks too much says, "hey! You could put us in the book! That would be great! There's gotta be a place in there for you to put all of us here in that book! This place is something special. You could write it and even use our real names."
:head smack:
"It's chick lit. I really doubt 5 drunk guys at the tavern down the street would have any bearing on the story."
"Well you could write it so it takes place in this town and then you could put us in."
Thankfully someone distracted him with a subject change to sports.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:26 PM   #25
Haggis
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Haggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsHaggis is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew21
I was at a local tavern (hometown hangout) and was with some friends. I was talking about writing my first MS. One of my friends is a beta reader for me. Some old guy that drinks too much and talks too much says, "hey! You could put us in the book! That would be great! There's gotta be a place in there for you to put all of us here in that book! This place is something special. You could write it and even use our real names."
:head smack:
"It's chick lit. I really doubt 5 drunk guys at the tavern down the street would have any bearing on the story."
"Well you could write it so it takes place in this town and then you could put us in."
Thankfully someone distracted him with a subject change to sports.
Hey. I always have the same 5 drunk guys in everything I write. Do you suppose that's what's been holding me back?
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